There is no better comfort food than warming stew. This butter bean stew has the perfect combination of sweet, savoury and creamy!
For another take on rich and creamy flavours, try this stunning Dal Makhani!
When the colder seasons come along, there is no food I crave more than a comforting stew. The deep flavours of a good stew go straight to the soul and provide warmth from the inside out.
For a stew to be worth eating, it needs to have some bulk. I’ve used butter beans to add some hearty substance to this recipe.
But butter beans do so much more than fill you up. The subtle nutty flavour and creamy texture mean that butter beans impact both the taste and texture of a dish more than any other bean I can think of.
While the feta is not strictly necessary, the sharpness of the cheese provides pleasant balance to the creamy stew. Vegetarian feta is increasingly easy to find, but can be omitted to make this dish vegan.
This recipe calls for butter beans, which are known by many other names including lima beans. They are a cupboard staple that can be used in countless ways including salads, soups and casseroles.
I love the way butter beans add creaminess to any dish. The interior of the beans are wonderfully soft, which perfectly matches their buttery taste.
Like other legumes, butter beans are very nutritious and a wonderful source of dietary fibre. They can be bought dried and rehydrated, but I prefer the canned variety, which is what is what I used for this recipe.
To make this dish even more authentically Greek, gigantes beans can be used in place of butter beans. Gigantes beans are similar in taste and texture, but as the name suggests they are larger. Gigantes beans can be tricky to find and a bit more expensive, which is why I went with butter beans.
What to serve with butter bean stew
The deep, rich flavours of butter bean stew will pair best with a side dish with a mild taste. Ideally it can also absorb some of the amazing flavours of the stew itself.
There is nothing better for the job than potatoes! I love serving this stew with creamy mashed potatoes, but a fluffy baked potato will also be a great pairing.
If potatoes are not your thing, then reach for delicious crusty bread or roasted vegetables such as broccoli.
Can you freeze butter bean stew?
Yes! In fact, this is a great stew to freeze. There is a risk with some dishes that the texture might change when frozen, but that won’t be a danger here. Butter beans in particular are great at holding their shape and texture after freezing.
Freeze in an airtight container without any feta added. You may want to make a bit extra to freeze for the future!
Recipe tips and tricks
- Give this stew plenty of time to cook. This allows for better flavours and gives the tomatoes time to break down and create the best form of this sauce.
- Like many stews, this one is at its best the next day. The extra time allows the flavours to infuse the whole dish.
- For a more authentic Greek recipe, replace butter beans with gigantes beans. Cannellini beans can also be used.
- The sharpness of feta is a welcome addition to a creamy stew like this one, but can be left out to keep the stew vegan.
More dinner recipes
- Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry
- Veggie Lentil Moussaka
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta with Burrata
- Roasted Mushroom Risotto
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 1-2 sprigs fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
- 800g/28 oz canned tomatoes
- 200ml/1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cinnamon stick or ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- 800g/28 oz canned butter beans, drained
- 80g/1/2 cup vegetarian feta
- Preheat an oven to 180C/350F.
- Heat the olive oil in a deep pan, add the chopped onion and chopped red pepper, cook over low heat for 5 minutes, then add pressed garlic, and fresh oregano and cook for a minute longer.
- Next add in canned chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, a bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick or ½ tsp cinnamon and the drained butter beans with a pinch of salt. Bring everything to a boil, then cover with a lid and move the pan to an oven preheated to 180C/350F and cook for 20 minutes, then uncover and cook for 40 minutes longer. Add more salt to taste if necessary.
- Scatter crumbled feta cheese all over before serving.
Leave out the feta for a vegan version of butter bean stew.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 343Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 823mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 13gSugar: 11gProtein: 19g